Gratitude Series 62 – The way out

As we contemplate more on the activities in life, we think what is the purpose of it all and we find it to be senseless and redundant and that is without understanding of dharma. With dharma we can further probe and realize that life is senseless and redundant and we have to return again life after life to do basically the same things. We might not even return in the form of a human. Therefore as we contemplate dharma we realize there are two choices, continue the meaningless redundancy or engage in the way out as taught by the perfect Tathagata. ~Tsem Rinpoche 25th


Yama the Lord of death holding the wheel of life. The moon symbolizes liberation and the Buddha guides us by pointing at the moon. At the centre of the wheel one finds three animals — a pig, a snake and a rooster. The pig symbolizes greed , the snake anger and hatred and the rooster (or cock) ignorance or delusion. The three animals are often shown biting each others tails, to show that these evils are inseparably connected. The emotions of the three stem from fundamental ignorance. Together, the triad represents the root causes of trouble on earth.

Just in the nick of time, I received this meaning and profound dharma teaching from my Guru. What perfect timing, it appeared as I was contemplating how grateful I am to be alive, to be in KFR (Kechara Forest Retreat), and to have dharma. This is all made possible for people like me because of Rinpoche’s great kindness to help all beings. Because Rinpoche decided to lead a selfless life; by becoming a monk, choosing the road less travelled and for doing this with the pure motivation to benefit others.

If it wasn’t because of Rinpoche, I would definitely be another one amongst the billions on this earth leading a meaningless redundant life; chasing after a delusional form of happiness based on attachments, desire, and ignorance manifested in materialism. And I would have suffered more each time something was lost, or something did not match my projected expectations. It is not that once you know the dharma, you don’t have problems or experience lost or disappointments, it’s just that you know and acknowledge this reality, and hence learn to deal with it better in a more logical positive light.

We’ve been told and brainwashed that happiness is about having a good education, then getting a great job, building a career that earns us lots of money, to go for holidays, have nice meals, nice things, nice cars, get a relationship, then get married, have kids, get a house, grow old and look forward to have grand kids because there’s nothing much you can do after that. Then what? Basically wait for the inevitable – death. Then what? Repeat this all over again, if we’re lucky to reincarnate back as a human. But what about those who don’t even believe in reincarnation, or the afterlife in heaven, you basically seize to even exist! Lol I just cannot imagine that we’re put on this planet earth just to do those mundane sequences of events and then die. What a boring life! It just seems so… meaningless – the perfect word for it as mentioned by Rinpoche in the above quote.

So many people say religion brainwashes people, but the truth of the matter is that we’ve been brainwashed ever since we were born. It started with our parents, and all that they projected on to us; how we should behave, dress, talk, walk, think etc. It reminds me of what Rinpoche shared recently by another brilliant attained Lama Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche…

“At the end of the day, education is brainwashing. Brainwashing is inevitable. We human beings love doing that. We are already brainwashed—we don’t know otherwise. So since we are going to be brainwashed anyway, it’s good to brainwashed with good motivation and so that we can be kind, harmonious, and also decent. Becoming decent human beings seems to be not so much in the modern education agenda because, as we all know, modern education seems to be so much about what we can have. Human beings are defined by what we have, like cars and houses. And then modern education is also so much geared towards getting a job. There are very few schools that teach you anything other than what will benefit you in getting a job”

So yes since we’re already being brainwashed, we might as well get brainwashed into doing something “good”, something meaningful, purposeful and a lot larger than just tiny selves. And like what Rinpoche said, at least we’re engaging in the ways that helps us get out of samsara’s delusion, one habit at a time, one step at a time, as taught by the perfect Tathagata.

So thank you Rinpoche for this perfect reminder of why we are here in dharma for, why we’ve all reconnected with our Lama, why we’ve all come together in making Kechara Forest Retreat a reality and the whole point of it all.  Thank you or this reminder which I will read from time to time less I forget, to continue working in this direction come what may, because happiness is found when we give it away and the repeated suffering ends when we get out of samsara. The choice is clearly ours to make.  Thank you Rinpoche for your guidance always.



Related Links:

  1. Kechara Forest Retreat
  2. My Short Bio in Pictures
  3. The Beginning 
  4. You Always Have A Choice… make the right one





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